Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar has said that Nigerians are trapped in the net of poverty, insecurity, backwardness and bad governance in the last few years of democracy.
Mr Atiku stated this at Arewa House, Kaduna on Thursday while speaking as a Guest of Honour at the National Lecture series organized by Arewa Media and Development Forum, AMDF.
According to him, only unity can get Nigerians out of these traps.
Unity is your strength, as long as you stay united, no harm can come your way. Just like the pigeons, we are all trapped in the net of poverty, insecurity, backwardness and bad governance and the only thing that can save us from this trap is unity.
“I invite all Nigerians to flap our wings together and fly away from the danger zone and get rid of these traps. This can only happen if we can vote for that kind of wise party, you can see our potentials, the choice is in your hands,” Mr Atiku said.
Speaking further, Mr Atiku said: “I don’t see any Nigerian as Igbo, Hausa or Yoruba. When I see you, I see you as a Nigerian and I expect the best from you, that is why I didn’t select where I should marry from.
“I married women from diverse backgrounds because I don’t look at their backgrounds, I only see them as wonderful Nigeria women.
My children have brothers and sisters from different backgrounds and that is why I am confident that a strongly united Nigeria is possible because I made it happen in my family.
“All Nigerians are equal and supposed to be treated equally. Therefore, unity is not about homogeneity but it is by accepting the diversity in differences between us, not using these differences as a yardstick in judging others.
“This kind of unity cannot be achieved by accident. There must be strategic efforts to promote unity.
Research has pointed out the three primary sources of lack of unity in Nigeria. For religious differences, we have to accept that it is not possible for the whole world to embrace one faith and it is not our choice the faith we practice.
The only thing we can do is to accept that others have different faiths and that is how God designed the world to be, and it should not be the basis for our socialization and politics.
“Language is another primary source of disunity, that is why I recommend a national law to mandate every Nigerian to speak one more language from another region of the country so that we can connect and appreciate things we share in common.
“I remembered this was introduced during one of the military regimes but along the line that was lost in the implementation. People easily associate and like others who speak their language.
“Language is one of the strongest sources for unity, we should have the policy to mandate public servants, youth corps members to learn one more Nigerian language from the region other than the one they already know. That way we can strengthen our unity.
“It is only through unity that we can surmount and overcome our challenges. We all face a common enemy, we need to fight this common enemy because this enemy will not spare anybody.
“Our common enemies do not recognize who is from the south of north, Muslim or a Christian, if we stand divided we will be trapped by the enemy. We can only escape if we work together and it’s just like the story of pigeons in the ancient world.”